Steven Gerrard is staying at Liverpool. Again.
This creature is called the Red-Knobbed Starfish. Say No More
There’s two ways of looking at this. One: every so often he needs a bit of a wage hike or a bit of kiss-ass so the rumours do the rounds and Koppites everywhere gather in clusters around flaming bins lobbing lucky charms into the flames in the hope that the sainted lad won’t take his falling starfish routines to another home.
Two: Gerrard really is physically unable to sever his ties to Liverpool and will always remain there so long as he’s wanted.
And maybe there’s a third. I’m not sure the England captaincy sat comfortably on his slender scally shoulders in the summer. All right he was one of England’s better players but that’s a bit like saying that on a plate of well dodgy seafood he was the open mussel that left you feeling the least sick.
And there’s been whispers coming out in cyberspace – we’ve all heard ‘em – about liaisons with less than appropriate partners and the consequences of such entanglements. None of that has been proved of course so I’ll go no further.
However, whilst Gerrard’s loyalty is admirable on one level, I look at him as a player who could really do with a couple of seasons mixing it with technically gifted and nimble footballers. The Liverpool side has been built around him for years and he’s struggled to adapt with the national team when that isn’t the case.
Frankly Unfat Frank has struggled too out of his Chelsea Armchair, and it’s fair to say that Capello’s insistence on finding a place for both of them in the England line-up by employing neither of them in a position they enjoy has been one of his more perverse decisions.
But I think when push comes to shove, Gerrard has bottled it. The Kop make him too comfy. Let’s face it the bloke turned a leaden eleven into Cup Winners twice over in 2005-6, so the bronze Stevie G statue is virtually in the mould already just waiting for his retirement.
Last season he did nowt, and still not a word of complaint from the faithful. I think he needs to be braver. I’d love to see him winning over a new set of fans at the Bernabeu. Above all it would make him a far better player.
Of course the news that he’s staying has given a Viagra-fuelled swell to Merseyside optimism. That and the arrival of the Artful Dodger on a free transfer. That’s 90 grand a week free. An injury-free Joe Cole might justify that but you could say the same about a fit and flying Fernando were it not that his muscles tweak with the regularity of a Murali doosra.
'Si, I score a goal! Now can you carry me to side of pitch. I hurt my leg.'
Personally I think cashing in on the frail flower that is Torres and giving Hodgson a bundle of cash to purchase three hardy perennials in his place might give ‘Pool more chance. Nando’s twanging sinews might have been a bit less stretched had Benitez had another striker with a bit more than going for him that Honest Dirk, Forgawd’ssake Ngog and the petulant gossip that is Babel. Jovanovic should help.
And here’s where I’d share a little of the optimism – Liverpool have employed a realist to manage the team. Hodgson won’t be raking through dossiers or playing one up front at Bloomfield Road or taking himself to the naughty step till someone comes over to find out what’s up.
There’s other good signs. Liverpool have hilariously acquired five million quid for the sale of Emiliano Insua. Which is like finally kicking some layabout lodger off the sofabed in the front room and finding a cache of gold bullion under the pillows.
Philipp Degen has been told he can leave. I think he’s been told that by about 45,000Scousers every time he’s taken to the field so it’s nice to think that the management are catching on.
The only other imponderable is Mascherano who seems to conduct a lot of his negotiations via any rag you care to mention. I mean he’s been linked to so many places there’s positively a chain gang of Champions League clubs tugging at his cloggery ankles.
If only Waldorf and Stadler can find that elusive Arab cashpoint in the Emirates somewhere then all may well be rosy.
The reason 5th is still looking the most likely outcome form the upcoming season is that Spurs should maintain their position and Man City continue to cough up ridiculous sums of wonga for just about anyone who’s available.
Whether Mancini’s able to shape the mercenaries into a bunch of Wild Geese capable of stringing together a decent set of results is open to question. Certainly this Mourinho Lite of a manager is top of the list of likely casualties during next season.
Arrgh. Must've typed in Roberto Mankini.
I imagine the Citeh board are already looking at the fixture list to see when’s the best time to fly in the next candidate: from November 13th they’ve got a nice little run of potentially cushy matches so that’s where my money’d be.
But any road, Gerrard won’t skipping into the sky blue stable. He’ll be leading from the front in Mersey red, same as he ever was.
I suppose in this day and age it’s good to see a one-club footballer sticking to those that have always supported him. I just wonder whether, cos of emotional ties or professional fear, he’s ever had the nuts to see what it might be like away from the eternal adoration that comes from the Kop.